Sydney: The Heritage City of Australia

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Sydney is an iconic Australian City located in New South Wales. The city has an exquisitely beautiful harbor and shoreline of 150 miles visited by millions of tourists each month. Popular for its spotless beaches, lush green gardens, vibrant nightlife, and cruises, Sydney is undoubtedly the most-visited tourist destination in Australia. Our stay in the city was an unforgettable experience and mentioned below are the highlights of our weekend Sydney holiday.

Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is the most popular landmark of Sydney and every tourist who visit the city for the first time visit the place to get a glimpse of this architectural wonder. The entry fee is AU$ 37 per adult and we had opted for a guided tour which was quite informative. The backstage tour was also quite exciting and we did enjoy some amazing views. We also spent a lot of time outside the building observing the architectural style from a close range.

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Founded in 1816, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is considered as a major historic botanical garden. Spread across 74 acres of land area, the place is divided into 3 gardens namely, Lower, Middle, and Palace gardens and a Bennelong precinct. The Palm Grove Centre and rose garden are quite impressive. The place offers an amazing view of the harbor and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The heritage gardens have beautiful pools and giant trees inhabited by wild birds and animals. The botanic garden is undoubtedly a top tourist attraction and for an entry fee was AU$10 per adult, it is definitely worthwhile.   

Manly Beach

A real Sydney holiday cannot be complete without visiting the picturesque Manly Beach. The long sandy beaches and deep blue waters are perfect for surfing, scuba diving, and boating. Shopping is the main activity in this neighborhood and the spot is known for hundreds of boutiques, gift shops, restaurants, and bars. The long array of pine trees that flank the beach offers a rare sight. Overall, it was the most relaxing part of our journey.

What to do when You Visit Hanoi?

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If you are interested to know the ancient arts and culture of Vietnam, then a visit to Hanoi is a must. I loved this ancient city for the ancient temples, unique aged citadels, and great entertainment that kept me busy for a couple of days.

Hanoi Attractions

  1. Temple of Literature

This is the site for the oldest university in Vietnam. It is over 1000 years old that comprises of three pathways and five courtyard sequences that are arranged in a line from the south to the north. I was taken aback by the architectural marvel and the great landscape of this place.  

  1. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

This is a mausoleum built to pay respects to Uncle Ho who made a huge mark in Vietnamese history. Ho’s body is preserved in a glass enclosure in Hanoi. I was happy that I got to visit his tomb and pay my respects to the great Vietnamese leader.

  1. Imperial Citadel

This place has great cultural importance in the history of Vietnam. It is now a UNESCO certified world heritage site. The central flag tower that is over 40 meters tall is the iconic part of this citadel.

  1. The Perfume Pagoda

This is a temple complex and its first temple was built in the 15th century. It hosts many Buddhist temples along the 60 kilometer Hanoi stretch extending to the Son Mountains. It is perfectly laid on Nature’s lap that is covered with dense forests and attractive caves.

  1. Thang Long Puppet Theatre

If you are a fan of theater shows and artists like me, then you should never miss visiting this water puppet theater. The puppets show their moves and skills on a liquid stage. There are 5 shows run every day.

  1. Hoan Kiem Lake

This is the best place to spend evenings for tourists who love to take a trip around the lake walking or on bikes. There is Ngoc Son Temple located on an island that is seen at the center of the lake.

Canberra – The Most Picturesque City in Australia

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Canberra is the capital of Australia and is one of the largest cities in the country. The historical city houses lots of old buildings and monuments of national importance. The city has a rich cultural background and has many heritage sites. Over the years, the city was designed to incorporate lots of green spaces, gardens, and nature parks. Some of the best locations in the city are described below:

Australian National Botanic Gardens

Australian National Botanic Gardens is one of the best sightseeing destinations in Canberra. The place beautifully exhibits a wide range of exotic and wild plant life. The scenic gardens have ponds with small creatures like water dragons, wild lizards, birds, and rabbits that roam around freely. The plants are grouped into various categories that help visitors in learning about them. It was a relaxing experience for me and my friends. The place allowed free entry; however, the parking was not free.

Weston Park

Located on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin, Western Park is one of the most-visited parklands in Canberra. This is yet another attraction in the city that offers free entries. The park offers amazing lakeside views and nature trails that are ideal for activities like biking, hiking, and cycling. Many tourists come to the park to enjoy a relaxing lakeside picnic. The place has playgrounds for kids, a miniature railway, and a maze that can keep the children entertained for hours. Our hike along the riverside landscapes was quite exciting and we saw lots of kangaroos and native birds.

National Zoo and Aquarium

As the name suggests, the place houses a large zoo and an aquarium. Located on the Lady Denman Drive, this is perhaps the only place in Australia that offers a combined experience of visiting a zoo as well as an aquarium. The place is a natural habitat for lots of wild animals like cheetahs, bears, and giraffes. The entry fee is 47 AUD for adults and 23 AUD for kids up to age 15. There is also an option of buying a family pass that costs around 130 AUD for around 5 members including kids.

Calgary – The Traditions of Western

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This city is located in Alberta and it is the city which embraces bits western cultures all the way. It is very famous for outdoor rodeo shows which go on for a span of one week to a ten days fiesta. It airs one of the greatest rodeo shows on earth. This place acts as a jump start for all the adventure junkies due to its rocky mountains. The museums here are very praised by the tourists. The stories of the early natives are held close by this city and are being reflected in many of their ruins or cultural architectures.

Calgary Stampede

This is one of the most popular rodeo shows and goes as long as fir ten days around the city. It runs with a very intense theme of cowboys. It is usually held in July and provides its tourists with cowboy themed entertainment and food experiences. The most famous during these rodeo shows is their pancake breakfast traditions; you will not find such tasteful pancakes anywhere else. There are several activities conducted during this show like wagon races or competitions among cowboy horses.

Rocky Mountaineer Rail Journey

The rocky mountain journey started in 1969 and this rail runs between Vancouver and Calgary. The rail runs through the Pacific side of the cities and is a sight to behold. The rail has a glass ceiling you can capture the natural beauty you’re traveling through in your hearts forever. The journey would cost you anywhere between 400-675 Canadian dollars.

Fish Creek Provincial Park

This park is a lush green artificial park created in the early 90s with having made the walking trails that lead straight into the wild forests and alongside the edges of the creeks. The entry for the park is 150 Canadian dollars. If you want a taste of nature in presented habitat, this is definitely your place.

Cairns – A Tropical Paradise

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Cairns are a city in the state of Queensland, Australia. The city that lies in the Far North Queensland is irrigated by Barron River and Mulgrave River that runs through the greater Cairns. The city has numerous attractions including beaches, mountainous rainforests, and a lagoon. During our visit to this tropical city, we got engrossed in lots of outdoor activities. Listed below are the best places that made our stay truly memorable.

Cairns Botanic Gardens

Cairns Botanic Gardens located in 64 Collins Avenue was our first destination in the city. The place houses a well-kept group of tropical gardens with tree groves, Centenary lakes, and lots of tropical flora. The place would give you the illusion of being in a beautiful tropical jungle. The entry was totally free and we walked around for hours.  It is a great location for a family outing and the experience was extremely relaxing. The Gondwanan Heritage Garden, Mount Whitfield Conservation Park, and the famous Rainforest Boardwalk are some of the top attractions in this place.

Muddy’s Playground

If you are looking for pure fun, you should not miss out on Muddy’s Playground. It is one of the best children’s amusement parks in Australia. So if you have kids on board, this place can definitely impress them beyond their imagination.  The place offers lots of water games, slides, track rides, and playhouses. There is a cafe inside the playground that offers great food. Muddy’s Playground is one of the few family amusement centers in Australia that do not charge any admission fees.

Josephine Falls

Located in Wooroonooran National Park, Josephine Falls is a beautiful tiered cascade waterfall located at the foot of Mount Bartle Frere. The multitier falls constitute a breathtaking view. Many tourists hike their way through the tropical parkland to get a glimpse of these amazing waterfalls. We found the journey to be a bit tiring but it was definitely worth the efforts.

Brisbane – An Exquisite Autumn Getaway

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Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, a popular state in Australia. It is the most populated city in the state with a population of over 2.5 million. Our holiday in Brisbane was quite adventurous and entertaining for the whole family. The city has several architectural wonders like bridges and skyscrapers. Located on the famous Brisbane River, the city is well known for its cruises and ferries.  Some of the top attractions in the city are as follows:

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Located at Jesmond Road, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is one of the most-visited places in the city. Here you can find several species of native animals that live in forested lands. This koala sanctuary is first of its kind and expands over a vast area of 44 acres. Besides koalas, the place has lots of kangaroos and platypus. Visitors can hand-feed these animals and watch them closely. The entry fee for every adult is 14 AUD. If you are interested in Australian wildlife this place would definitely amaze you.

South Bank Parklands

South Bank Parklands can be best described as a cultural destination that illustrates the lifestyle of the city.  It is a perfect place for family outing and day tours. The lush green parklands expand over an area of 17 hectares and offer lots of entertainment venues, beautiful river views, exquisite dining centers, and multicultural restaurants. You can also find lots of recreational facilities like playgrounds, pools, and art galleries. The best part of our day tour was the ferry ride and the stunning views it offered.

O’Reilly’s Lamington National Park

Our trip to O’Reilly’s Lamington National Park was the most memorable part of our Brisbane holiday. The place is popular for its Rainforest Retreat which is a UNESCO-listed destination. We particularly enjoyed the treetop canopy tour that seemingly took us to a different world. It is a great place for hiking and sightseeing.