Tag Archives: australia

Relaxing in Strahan

In the last three weeks, I’ve been on eight planes and two bus trips travelling around Australia and Asia. It’s been a blast, but also a little exhausting!

So when we arrived in the sleepy harbour town of Strahan, Tasmania, it was the perfect place to take a break.

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Of course, there are a ton of things you can do in Strahan if you want to. Sail down the Gordon River, take a day trip to Queenstown, visit Sarah Island or head out to Ocean Beach.

We opted for relaxation in the town itself, which has a very long history (at least by Australian standards).

In an area first discovered by Captain James Kelly in 1815, Strahan is found on the West Coast of Tasmania through a 200 metre entrance to Macquarie Harbour (later named Hells Gates by convicts)! Nearby Sarah Island was a convict prison for 11 years between 1822 and 1833, before Strahan itself was founded in 1877.

For a town with such an illustrious history, you could be forgiven for thinking that Strahan may be a large town. Truth be known, the place is tiny, but it is also very beautiful.

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We used every opportunity to relax here, only taking the trip out to Ocean Beach so far as tourist activities were concerned. Often called the end of the earth, this place was wild. The windy day on which we visited probably didn’t help!

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All in all, Strahan was a lovely spot to visit, though there wasn’t all that much to do outside the standard tours (which, quite frankly, are on the expensive side of things, but don’t get me started on the cost of travel in Australia)!*

So, have you been to Strahan? What did you think? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Healthy Globetrotter

*Don’t get me wrong, Australia is the most wonderful country and I’ve been lucky enough to spend many years of my life travelling it. That said, it can be cheaper to visit the South Pacific or Asia then to take a one or two hour flight from Sydney, though that’s a topic for another day 🙂

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There’s no place like home…

As much as I love to travel, there are times when it is good to be home. Right now is one of them. Having travelled across three Australian states over the last three days (at the time of writing) and with two packed trips coming up in the next month, it is nice to be home. Even if only for a couple of nights.

The immediate relaxation I felt when I walked through my door got me thinking, what are my favourite things to do in Sydney? There’s no doubt about it, I love to travel. But I really do appreciate this beautiful city I live in, so thought I might dedicate a couple of posts to the place I call home.

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This is the view from my apartment, which may give you a small hint as to why it is so nice to be home.

One of my favourite things about Sydney is its proximity to the beach, especially with the number of coastal walks available. The Bondi to Bronte walk (or even further through to Coogee if you prefer) is one of the most popular.

I don’t do the walk as often as I would like, but make a point to do it whenever I can. I’d highly recommend it to Sydney locals and visitors alike. Here’s why:

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Bondi6 Bondi5

Bondi2That’s right, the view is pretty spectacular. The walk from Bondi to Bronte is 4 km one way, or 8 km return. On a hot day pack plenty of water and always wear sunscreen – you’ll need it. 

So next time you’re in Sydney, pack some exercise gear and make the trip out to the beach to enjoy the walk. More information about the walk, including how to get there, can be found here.

The Healthy Globetrotter

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A busy time of year… and a peek at Tasmania!

Somewhat unintentionally, I’ve had a bit of a break from writing. However, as I’ve just returned from Tasmania and have a whole lot of travel coming up in the next month, I figure that now is as good as time as any to get back on board!

The end of the year has been hectic, as it is for everyone I suppose. Mine has been marred with injury, with back and hip problems keeping me from my regular exercise routine, as well as a pretty hectic work schedule. That said, I’ve had a truly excellent December thus far, and can’t wait to visit my family tomorrow to celebrate the festive season properly!

I’ve spent the last week in Tasmania, in Australia’s south. It wasn’t my first visit, but given the last time I travelled there I was 16, it is fair to say that I appreciated it a whole lot more this time around!

Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, is pretty spectacular. Lonely Planet ranked it as number 7 on its list of top ten cities, best in travel for 2013. I like to think i’m ahead of the curve. Kidding!

We stayed on the harbour at the Hotel Grand Chancellor. I’d highly recommend the hotel, particularly a harbour view room as we had – the views are pretty special:

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The hotel also has a pool, which meant I was able to get in some exercise even though I wasn’t able to run. Not all bad:

Swimming pool

We spent Saturday morning at the Salamanca markets (even though it was raining) and attended a beautiful wedding in the afternoon. Thankfully the weather cleared up in time for the reception in Sandy Bay.

This photo was taken from a private residence, but I’d highly recommend heading to Sandy Bay to check out the views:

Sandy Bay

The Museum of Old and New Art (or, MONA) is a must see in Hobart. The privately held collection is very special. Some of it is a little bit controversial, but I believe there is a route around the gallery you can take to avoid the nudity and more controversial images if you choose.

We just wandered around, reading about all the art work on a handy iPhone/iPod touch (which was part of the admission fee). This was my favourite room:

Hobart 3Hobart was pretty special, and it was just the start of our trip. I can’t wait to show you more of Tassie and show you why it is rated as a such a great place to visit in Australia.

Until then, wishing you and your families a very merry Christmas (if you celebrate it), and a wonderful New Year.

The Healthy Globetrotter

 

 

Roar and Snore

Combine lions and the thought of sleeping in a tent and you’d probably imagine you’re on safari. While that remains a travel dream, this was a little more achievable.

Roar and snore at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo came as a surprise to me. Not just because I didn’t know where I was headed when told to pack my bags for the night, but also because of the quality of the next 15 or so hours.

Arriving at the zoo around 6:45pm, you’re met by three guides who act as your hosts for the evening. We were immediately told how lucky we were with only 15 others joining us for the night (there can be up to 40) and indeed we were. I think everyone had a tent in the front row facing this view:

Phenomenal, yes? Talk about special.

The evening was a surprise as I was celebrating my birthday, and what a surprise it was. Taken to our “camp” site, we immediately declared it glamping over camping, given our tent had a double bed and electric blankets. Oh, and did I mention the view?!

Waking up to this view – pretty special! (I only had my Iphone so apologies for the photos!)

Shortly after arrival we were called to the main common area for drinks and nibbles. This was wonderful. Not only was there a wide array of food and beverages (everything from carrot sticks – thank you – to cheese and biscuits, fruit, nuts and chips), as we were eating our hosts brought around some of the animals for us to meet.

I faced a fear and got up close and personal with a snake (and this friendly lizard!) after a glass of wine, and of course, after properly washing my hands!

My new friend!

We were served dinner (roast with vegetables) and then set out on a night tour of the zoo. I didn’t take photos here as the flash would hurt many of the animals eyes and having been surprised by the night I only had my iPhone for a camera.

However, what was so special about this tour (and our behind-the-scenes tours the next day) was just how knowledgable our hosts were. They answered every question asked and we learnt a lot. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn just how well cared for these animals are. All are given enrichment in order to fulfill their lives, use muscles that would be utilized it the wild and, ultimately, be happy in what is their home.

A little fuzzy (iphone photo!) but I still think this one is beautiful!

After a few hours exploring the zoo, we were exhausted and were led back to our camp. Dessert followed, though I skipped this having more than filled up on the wonderful and healthy food earlier in the evening.

Sent to bed with full bellies, we were warned of an early start. Around 6:50 am the next morning, we set off on three behind-the-scenes tours, meeting several keepers and getting very involved. Inside the bear enclosure type involved. This is where we met Mr Hobbs.

Mr Hobbs, a gorgeous sun bear, was rescued from the restaurant trade in Cambodia. Make up your own mind about zoos, but trust me, this is a step up.

Ok, so obviously we couldn’t be in Mr Hobbs’ enclosure when he was there, but our job was pretty important. Each day, Mr Hobbs is provided with enrichment to his life. So, how do you enrich a bear’s life? By making him forage.

We spent part of the morning hiding eggs in trees, spreading honey under logs and, quite interestingly, spraying different scents around the enclosure.

Our friend the bear finding our treats!

We were then led outside the enclosure while Mr Hobbs was let back in. It was pretty special watching him discover our treats!

Our experience ended here, but we went on to enjoy several hours at the zoo in the daylight. Roar and Snore was a wonderful experience, and with the entire ticket price being donated to animal conservation, well worth the price tag.

The Healthy Globetrotter

Running the world

Ask anyone who knows me personally and they’ll tell you, I’m not the best runner. However, that doesn’t stop me from trying. It’s one of the easiest ways to exercise on the road, you don’t need equipment and best of all? It’s free.

Right now, I’m in Singapore. I’m only here for a short time – 5 days – but I’ve packed my running gear. Here’s why: You never know what you might see.

To prove this, I wanted to share some of the photos I’ve taken running during my most recent world travels. All of the photos in this post were shot with my iPhone4, taken with me when I run.

Starting with a run in Lund, Sweden. After a gorgeous afternoon visiting friends, I went for a run before settling in for the evening. If not for that decision, I would never have seen this view.

Just another reason why no-one regrets exercise:

Taken on a run in Lund, Sweden

Visiting family in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, I went for a run just prior to a storm and ended up with taking some shots along the way. Here are two of my favourites:

When sailing in the Ionian Islands in Greece, I woke up earlier than most of my travelling companions and would head out for a run to see the port first thing and get my bearings:

I also hit the footpath when in Oxford, United Kingdom:

Even when I’m at home, I’m surprised by the beauty that constantly surrounds us. I might be biased, but you just have to look for it. Can you really argue with me?

Rushcutter’s Bay, SydneyBondi Beach, Sydney

Ok, so it probably helps that my exercise in Sydney always occurs around sunrise. That said, it remains gorgeous in the afternoons:

Hyde Park, Sydney

I can’t wait to head out for a run and see what I might find in Singapore. Stay tuned!

What is the best thing you’ve seen when out exercising?

The Healthy Globetrotter