Date Archives

December 2016

An Educational Stop at Phillip Island Australia

Without having traveled to the Phillip Island, I would never have practically concurred with St. Augustine when he said that “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” I am glad I have been able to open another valuable page of the world in the name of Phillip Island in Australia.

Without this travel, I would never have discovered the endless beauty a coastline can offer. Serene daytime seaside appearance and Azure Sea and sky at dawn and dusk have never been real as they were during my time in this Australian island. To practically emulate the words of Frank Bormann that “Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit,” my time on the island was well spent, and trying to explore and visit all the places I could possible get to in three days.

Abundant was the wildlife, ecstatic was the international motorsport and adventurous it was to explore the seaside villages and Phillip Island’s family attractions. To conclude that Phillip Island Australia is the holiday haven that any person should consider is not an overstatement. If it were not for my experience with Phillip Island, I would not be writing about these magnificent places and experiences. As Ibn Batuta said, “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, and then turns you into a storyteller.” I tell my story.

Wildlife Viewing
There is endless wildlife in this spacious island that one can be able to appreciate. What made my tour more intrinsic is the fact that most of the animals here can rarely be found in other regions in the world.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm
This is a special piece of the Victorian heritage that I decided to visit. Everything here was simple, and I came to realize that this simplicity is what makes it interesting to be here. Taking long relaxing strolls along the coastal lines, and through the fragrance of the lawns and cottage gardens, for once I was able to appreciate the real beauty of nature.

The coastline walk was also educational as I was able to view and appreciate the restored cottages and farmhouse. The early Australian settlers together with their original practices were appreciated. Sitting down to enjoy the Australian cuisine in the Heritage farm’s licensed café just after buying some lifetime quality gifts for my loved ones from the quality gift shop did much to complement Churchill’s ecstatic look and experience.

Koala Conservation Center
If you have seen the Koalas in the zoos before, then your experience is not complete. Unlike in the zoos where the animals have been confined, I strolled through this Phillip Island’s eucalyptus woodland, coming face-to-face with these animals in their natural habitat. Perfect viewing was made possible by the new koala boardwalk. It was a lifetime event for me to catch a glimpse of the koala joeys taking their first adventure from their mother’s pouch, finding food and ultimately learning to climb. Wow! What an experience worth remembrance. For better remembrance, Susan Sontag says that “Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.” My Nikon camera was always busy throughout this experience.

The spectacular woodland walks, the beautiful possums, enchiladas and wallabies in the natural bushes and the entire natural habitat as a whole made me conclude that your journey to Phillip Island is never complete if you don’t get to Koala Conservation center.

Things to do
There are unlimited things that people can do while visiting this island. To be biased, don’t miss out on walking and cycling. I say to be biased because I like cycling and I really liked cycling while on my exploration there. On the other side, as much as I am an anti-walking person, I would confess that the experience I had in the woodlands and the beaches would have never been worth recalling if I didn’t walk through. I really loved my walking experiences during all these days.

Bird Watching
I managed to kill two birds using the same stone, in that as much as I was enjoying cycling, I ended up in the bird watching site thus appreciating nature the more.

In the main park of the Cape Woolamai, I was speechless when I came to witness the migration of a real flock of the short-tailed mutton birds as they returned in mass to their colony just before dusk. At first, I thought this was fun. Little did I know that real fun was yet to come the day after? Spotting all kinds of wading birds migrate from Rhyll inlet gave me the real experience of nature. Name the straw-necked ibis, the royal spoonbills and the rare hooded plover; I hadn’t imagined that there was real beauty outside here. I had underestimated the Phillip Island. I decided to just sit and enjoy. It is this experience that made me to fully agree with John Steinbeck when he said “A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” An experience with the Penguin Parade, a night experience when the penguins returned ashore after their day out fishing was amazing.

Swimming & Surfing
I was lucky to be in Phillip at a time when they were holding their many surf clinics. Though an amateur in surfing, it didn’t seem to me a tall order after I registered for a beginner’s skills lesson. There was no swell from the day I got to this island to this third day hence reduced fear of any risks. At the end of it all, I was happy because though tired, I knew that my experience in the waters was truly therapeutic.

My Dining Choice – The Cape Kitchen
Though there are numerous restaurants in Phillip Island, the setting at the Cape Kitchen inspired me to take most of my meals there. Natural setting, distinct and unique in town, I would enjoy the breathtaking views of the coastline and the Southern Ocean as I ate special meals, mostly seafood as that is what I preferred most.

I would have wanted to stay longer but my time to go back home came quite fast. My experience was just a tip of an iceberg of where I could have gone to or what I could have done. I thought that because I visited just a few places I had not achieved anything but this feeling left me once I was home. No wonder, “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”– Attributed to Lin Yutan.

Ghostwriter – Copywriter – Scriptwriter

The Charm of Melbourne

Its charms tend to be a little subtler as compared to her flasher northern sister city, Sydney. Melbourne is a city that is characterized with many rewards for tours and travels enthusiasts. Even those not enthusiastic about touring new places will surely start having the zeal of touring places once they give Melbourne a try. If you have never been optimistic about travels, it is a high time to borrow a leaf from Aesop’s words, “Adventure is worthwhile.”

Unlike most of the other travel destinations that are only a buzz during a specific season or time of the year, Melbourne is a year-round city. With a temperate climate, travelers from the northern hemisphere have a spot to escape to during their winter in the name of Melbourne. On average, January is the hottest month with a temperature average of 21C while July with an average temperature of 10C being the coldest.

Important things to Know before Going
The locally used language is English thus it’s important to acquaint yourself with it or organize for a translator when and if necessary. The hotels tend to be quite expensive during the New Year and Christmas vacations as well as during main school holidays. In addition, if you aren’t a sports enthusiast, try avoiding the city during major sport event times such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix in March and the Open Grand Slam that comes in January.

Best of Melbourne
I am a frequent visitor and just like most of the Melbourne visitors, am always based within the city center whenever I am here. The main reason behind this is the fact that almost all the buzz in Melbourne is in the city center. The restaurants, theaters, shops, hotels, bars and museums have been responsible for making this commercial heart of the city a place of preference. The transport options that I always have include buses, biking, tram or train. With the city being easily navigable, with most of its attractions being within walking distances, I always have no choice but to spend most of my stay within the city.

Is it true that “Not all those who wander are lost?” This is a question that I was only able to answer after my first visit to Melbourne. It is after driving in to the city, that I was able to discover the flavors and the distinct fortes of this city’s destinations. Spending time at the city center was the key to the discovery of the neatly organized city, divided into small pockets worth my exploration. The Bourke and Collins streets have always been real retail therapy for any of my budgets with the Yarra Precinct together with the Docklands delivering perfect waterside views.

Things to do
History and Heritage
There are lots of reminders of the rich history of Melbourne found in the numerous monuments and historical buildings scattered around the city. Comprised of five Aboriginal languages, Melbourne, which is the native of the Kulin nation began as a tent city with 50 original settlers but quickly had its population grow to about 700,000 within just 35 years, by 1870. The journey through the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne reveals the thriving culture of the natives of this place. The evidence of the strong and closely knit aboriginal community is very much evident in the award winning Bunjilaks, which is found within the Koorie Heritage Trust of the Melbourne Museum.

The striking interior of the Royal Exhibition Building, which is a listed world heritage, has often offered exploration tales of the Old Melbourne Gaol prison life. On the other side, the reconstructed Cook’s Cottage, which was captain James Cook’s childhood home helps one to have a feel of Melbourne’s maritime past.

Things to do in a nutshell
1. Aboriginal Heritage Walk: This is one of the most popular activities or rather tour associated with the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne and is known to offer a vibrant cultural experience
2. Koorie Heritage Trust: Since this is a trust that was set to preserves as well as promote the native culture of the indigenous people of south-eastern Australia, it is a must visit site for any historian.
3. Bunjilaka: This offers a collection of the Aboriginal cultural heritage artifacts and items. It is complemented with exhibitions, meeting spaces and a series of performances.

Nature & wildlife
For a more natural appreciation, forget about the city of over four million people, slow down and get to enjoy Mother Nature in the gardens, the lavish parks and the waterways. With age old trees and manicured lawns surrounding you, there is abundant wildlife in the small calm and tranquil pocket at the heart of this hustling and bustling city.

The tree-lined pathways that pass through the great Fitzroy and Treasure gardens are there for anyone’s enjoyment. At the shoulder of Rive Yarra is the Birrarung Marr, the newest garden in Melbourne designed with sculptured terraces for a finer look.

Numerous beaches surround Melbourne thus giving you an opportunity of not only appreciating but also enjoying the aquatic habitat. I specifically love the popular swimming Elwood and St Kilda spots as well as the Mordialloc, Sandringham, and Hampton beaches which are very boat friendly.

Tours
The most common tours include the Penguin Parade, the Phillip Island tour, the Four-Day Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road Short Break, the Melbourne city tour, the wonderful Chiltern, the 12 Apostles Lodge Walk, Fitzroy tour, Fitzroy Crime Tour, and the Pentridge Prison Ghost Tour among others.

In Review
Water sports, cycling, ballooning & scenic flights, fishing, walking, and golf, spectacular sports among other adventures are all the unending options that I always have whenever I am in this historical city. Even if I visited Melbourne a thousand times, I will not lack something ecstatic and entertaining to do or to experience. It is a city worth traveling to.

Reverse Bungee in the heart of Kuta

“If It scares you, it might be a good thing”. 5GX Bali is bringing a new touch of Legian area with its reverse bungee that has taken the adrenaline activity to a whole new level. Designed and developed in New Zealand, this activity has been recognised as a must-do for those who have guts.

This ride is one hell of an adrenaline booster which is going to sustain for an entire lifetime, and therefore you are bound to have company in this fun ride. You will be seated and locked inside a metal ball with up to 2 people next to you, and catapulted high up into the air, slicing through the sky, bouncing and spinning wildly for a few minutes. The machine fires you 60 meters’ vertical at ludicrous speeds in just over 2 seconds, reaching up to 5G force. You will feel the wildest of excitement while being hurled in the air up and down.

The key to fully enjoy this ride is by keep laughing and screaming out loud to avoid panic attack. Give it a few seconds before you realise that there is actually nothing to be scared about. The team of 5GX Bali really makes sure the safety of the passengers. You will be locked in well to your seats using an airplane safety lap belt, and the staff will triple-check the belt. Each launch is recorded by computer, which tells the operator when the bungee cords are due to be replaced to ensure the elastic is strong and does not become too worn. Routine safety checks and maintenance are carried out daily by the team of experts. So, worry not as you are in the good hand. Set aside your inhibitions and enjoy the thrill.

The rides start in the midday around lunchtime and goes on well until pass midnight. During the night, the lights in surrounding area makes the ride very attractive. Some of the slingshot metal balls are covered in tiny lights which keep glowing in and out as you go up and down.

A few pointers you need to keep in mind is that do not take the ride on an empty stomach as it might make you nauseous. Also do not have a heavy meal since you might end throwing up. Snack light before the ride. For your comfort sake, do not wear loose clothes as you will be tumbled up and down. Pregnant women, heart patients, people with blood pressure issues should not be taking this ride. This is an extreme form of adventure sport, and utmost care needs to be taken. Last but not least, make sure to scream out loud as you will be recorded in a GoPro video.

Courtesy of: 5GX Bali

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine