Sydney

 

 

 

 

 

                         Darling Harbour


What an Excellent central area to stay in or for touring Sydney. Just a walking distance to Chinatown, the Fish Market, IMAX, and the  Star Casino.

Ten minutes across the Pymont bridge you will find best department and retail stores in the city.

Darling harbour is a beautiful sight, and beautiful at night. Firework display every Saturday in Jan & Feb 2016! The lovely boats that are here , some are for rent, plenty of tourist places to book trips with. There is a shopping centre with 2 or 3 floors. Easy access to ferries which can take you Circular Quay too. Lots of Lots of great bars, eateries and retail shops in the area. A lovely place to sit and people watch.We werr lucky to have stayed there the majority of our trip.

Highly recommended.

Visited December 2015-2016

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 Sokyo 

Went there with my significant other and some friends. The service was slow, but that was  expected as it was around the holidays and a weekend. We Started off with a couple of ceviche plates that were great and finished off with endless orders of nigiri and sashimi plates.  The decor unique. This restaurant has a Nobu vibe to it but not quite as good in my opinion. Location is fantastic. Well Recommended.

  

                                   Altitude bar/restaurant @ The Shangri-La Hotel 

 Stayed at The Shangri-La for two nights a few days before Christmas. We booked the Grand Deluxe Harbor Panoramic View Room. Although we had booked 2 weeks in advance, we were asked to be seated by the bar while our room was being prepped. It took approximately an hour wait which dampened our mood until we were escorted to the 18th floor, and we knew going into that room  that it was going to be well worth it!

Imagine waking up to different cruise ship view near the harbor every morning and the stunning Opera house (which is approximately 1 Km away). I wouldn’t have minded staying in all day..BUT we treated ourselves to a 2hr Couple Escape Journey massage which was nothing short of an amazing trip! The night ended great on the 36th floor of the hotel.

Absolutely loved the dinner and drinks we had at Altitude Bar/restaurant.

Great night view. Phenomenal food and memorable experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Pullman Sea Temple

               Port Douglas

We landed in Cairns the day after Boxing day. Booked a stay in the 3 bedroom penthouse for 2 nights. It had a beautiful spacious living area and kitchen, jacuzzi and terrace. To add icing to the cake; Out own Bar-B-Que area and hot tub on the rooftop. The penthouse was fully equipped. Kitchenware, Fresh towels, Laundry room, Bath products, cleaning detergents and coffee! You name it. All we had to do is buy our groceries, and the closest shop was five minutes away.

We knew ahead of time that the weather was going to be cloudy with absolutely NO chance of sun; Luckily the Deities answered our prayers and we got a few hours of sunshine.

 

Standing on the terrace the first thing that attracts you is the big lagoon style swimming pool and the resort like feeling to this place. Nearby is the Aqua restaurant that opens for breakfast lunch and dinner.
Just a few meters away from this place. is a beautiful beach. The hotel in general is 30 minutes away from town and 15 minutes away from the most popular beaches and rain forests.

Great spot if you are planning to get away, yet not feel away from everything. Less than ten minutes you will find restaurants, cafes, clubs, massage parlors, gift shops, even a little casino.

Car rental is must.

Highly recommended.

Visited December 2015-2016

Visit their website:

website: http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-8762-pullman-port-douglas-sea-temple-resort-and-spa/index.shtml

  
  
                     

Mossman Gorge, Daintree Forest

After spending quality time between the pool and the beach (previous post), we made sure to take advantage of our short stay,  even though the weather was not on our side; we still visited the Mossman Gorge.

Mossman Gorge is about 20 minutes drive from Port Douglas. The actual rainforest walk and river is 4 Km away from centre. So it is recommended to take the bus. What a gorgeous way to spend a couple of hours. We did not know what to expect. You arrive at the visitor centre and they tell you what you can do. A shuttle bus (part of your day pass costing apx $8 only) takes you to the start of the boardwalk.

What a fabulous adventure, hiking  through some of the most stunning scenery. Mother Nature at her best. The trees are strong and ancient..flowing rivers also add nicely to the scenery. We saw it when it was very wet, and it looked even more amazing then you would expect. You will require some level of fitness to walk the 2.4k route through gorge. It has some steep boulders/steps and exposed roots ready to trip you up..I ended up walking barefoot because my shoes got all muddy, don’t get me wrong, I was not complaining at all.

Beautiful place, Daintree rainforest is quite unique and worth seeing. There is definitely a sense of humidity (about 65%) yet the rain was so refreshing!

The is definitely a sense of achievement when finish the walk back and forth. The sounds of the flowing river, rain and trees were music to my ears. An unexplainable sense of calmness washes over you. Swimming in the river is a delight. unfortunately we did not have our swimwear on.

I truly believe a visit to Port Douglas in not complete without a stop at this natural paradise.  Every thing about Mossman is just lovely and more, very little tourism based stuff, this felt so much more relaxed than anywhere else we had been.

Just an incredible place to visit with so much beauty to soak up.

Highly Recommended.

 

  
  
  
  
  
  

The Great Barrier Reef

We woke up at the crack of dawn to head of to the Port where the Calypso ‘Bubbles’ was waiting for us. When we arrived we did notice a few ominous clouds gather but we remained upbeat and hoped that as the day went on the skies would clear up eventually.

As soon as we go on the boat we could sense it was going to be a good cruise. The crew were very welcoming, nice, helpful, and very organized! We started our Journey at 8:30 and knee ahead it was going to be a 2 hour ride.
After they handed us our snorkeling gear and accommodated us with the boat, and lunch services. We were invited for a half hour introduction of the Opal reef, the 3 stops we were going to make, and the basic safety measures. We situated ourselves on the front upper floor of the boat (which is two floors). It is not a big boat, but it was enough to accommodate approximately 70 snorkelers comfortably.

The first coral reef spot was great. There were a variety reefs, a beautiful depth to experience and gorgeous colorful species of fish I have never seen before. The only downside was how strong the tide was; it was personally exhausting trying to get back to the boat!

When all the snorkelers gathered back on the boat, we sailed away again for another 45 minutes minutes to get the second reef..and it was my favorite! The reefs were closer and this time, so basically you get better vision and we also joined a skipper, a very knowledgeable american woman who was a marine biologist. Listening to her and guiding us to what to watch out for in the waters made the experience a lot more interesting, than the first and third reefs.

Finally we took off our we suits, had a few Pino Gris with some good company and sailed away back to our original destination. it was nearing dusk.

Overall, a great day. Long and exhausting but a very memorable experience

Highly recommended. Just make sure you keep your sea sickness pills handy!

 

  
  
  
  
  
  

  

  

 

 

THIEVERY

Walking into this restaurant/eatery on Glebe Point road, you would be surprised at how laid back the atmosphere is. The staff and the design and aesthetics of the place, has a very and cool and quirky concept to it.

The Thievery menu states that it has Middle Eastern dishes “Stolen” from a chef, and whatever else they could “smuggle” in.

 All that and the dim lighting, peeled wall paper, Arabic Calligraphy on the walls, holes in the ceiling and the over all attic vibe to this place would make you feel guilty at some point!

All of that is great..but the food was just criminal!

As we were waiting for better seating, We had ordered our cocktails (which were fantastic. More on that list later) and were offered Lupin beans.

For those not familiar with it; It is our Lebanese version of Edamame.

Then we were ready to eat..

We literally chose EVERYTHING on the menu..and then some more!

Hear this : Hummus in Burnt Paprika butter- Baba Ghanoush drizzled with Sheep’s milk Yoghurt and pine nuts -Bastourma Cigars- Spiced Fish Tacos – Wagyu beef Shawarma- Kingfish Nayye’ (our own version of Ceviche).

Could it be any more tempting?

Being a Lebanese, believe me, I know my taste buds. The dishes have maintained the traditional and authentic taste of the ingredients yet with a contemporary twist to them.

This food evokes fireworks on your palate.

Best Lebanese in Sydney, and im not even going to ask around.

Highly Recommended

   

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   

Sydney Fish Market
Abalone for breakfast anyone?

Yes i admit, I did it, and it was way better than my daily dose of bacon and eggs.
Be prepared to fight serious cravings for seafood, if you are ever in Sydney’s infamous Fish Market.
A seafood paradise, in the heart of the city.
Was not sure where exactly was the entrance or the start of the fish market; all I could see were delivery trucks doing their business, Over-crowded halls and lots lots of faces…
Did I mention seafood?
The range and variety was extraordinary. Fresh and inviting. 
Pick your seafood by the weight, choose your menu and enjoy freshly cooked or uncooked (sashimi) meals to your taste. 
Of course this is a place for the seafood lover, and just a reminder; This is a real fish market, not a restaurant experience. There are Plenty of tourists here so be prepared to stand and fight for a lunch table and decent seating. 
A positively fishy experience. 

Highly recommended.