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Currumbin Day Tour Australia

“It looks like a plush toy,” I told C as we stood transfixed staring at an actual real live koala inside a pen. Clinging on a vertical tree branch and slowly gnawing on eucalyptus leaves, the furry little creature unhurriedly moved to a more comfortable position. Being nocturnal animals, most of its neighbors were asleep, also clinging to tree branches as they do. It’s the first time I’ve actually seen a koala in real life and it’s as cute and cuddly as a, well, a plush koala toy.

Gold Coast Flight Australia
FLYING IN FROM SYDNEY TO GOLD COAST

Coming from a one-hour flight from Sydney, we arrived at the Gold Coast International Airport at around noon. The heat was unbearable as we navigated its almost empty roadways. We’re here to see Byron Bay, but before that, we took a quick detour to Currumbin—G of Pinay Travel Junkie apparently booked us to see them kangaroos and koalas.

Book a discounted GoldCoast Zoo Tour Online

 

CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

Currumbin Wildife Sanctuary Australia
VISITING THE CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY BEFORE HEADING TO BYRON BAY

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary started out as a bird sanctuary of sort in 1947. Alex Griffith, a New Zealander whose parents migrated to Australia and retired in Queensland started feeding wild rainbow lorikeets as a way to keep them off his flower plantations and honey farm.

Currumbin Wildife Sanctuary Train Australia
THE MINI TRAIN INSIDE THE ZOO STARTED OPERATING DURING ***

Soon, the daily flock of birds in his farm started attracting people, eventually making it as one of the local sights in the area. In due course, it evolved into a bird sanctuary, then the zoo that it is now. It’s one of the oldest animal sanctuaries in Queensland and is listed as part of the Queensland Heritage Register.

Currumbin Wildife Sanctuary Koala Australia
A SLEEPING KOALA INSIDE A PEN

As unhurried as koalas, we sauntered across the park’s paved pathways, dodging a mini-train that circles the park, visiting the koala pens, and actually having our picture taken with one of the koalas while it clung to J of Lakwatserong Tsinelas’ torso for a few Australian dollars. Yeah, we’re touristy like that. Lol.

Currumbin Wildife Sanctuary Emu Australia
FIERCE EMUS

We then headed to the kangaroo enclosure, passing a couple of huge emus resting right by the fence. These birds look fiercer than their relative, the ostrich. Their eyes are especially daunting, but I guess they’re friendly enough since they’re freely roaming around the Currumbin’s kangaroo area.

Currumbin Wildife Sanctuary Kangaroo Australia
LAZY ADULT KANGAROOS

We found a mob of kangaroos lazily lounging around the dry landscape of the enclosure. A few were being fed by visitors—you can buy food to hand-feed them if you want to get up close and personal with these creatures, but it’s really not our thing. Most were just lying down, having their afternoon siestas and we actually saw one with a baby up its pouch.

To be honest, I actually find kangaroos to be weird-looking animals, they look like a brawny horse-like, not-so-adorable rabbits with weirdly jointed legs. But that’s just me, most of the people at the park we’re just crazy about them.

Currumbin Wildife Sanctuary Kangaroo Australia
THE YOUNGER KANGAROOS LOOK MUCH CUTER

A few meters away from the fenced enclosure is grassy hill where a few young kangaroos—I don’t know if they still count as joeys or baby kangaroos—were roaming through. They seem to be more popular than the adults at the pen since they’re about a thousand times cuter. Still, they don’t stand a chance to win a cuteness contest with the koalas.

Currumbin Wildife Sanctuary Lost Valley Australia
CHECKING OUT THE LOST VALLEY SECTION OF THE SANCTUARY

Currumbin Wildife Sanctuary Lost Valley Red Panda AustraliaCurrumbin Wildife Sanctuary Lost Valley Lemur Australia
A RED PANDA AND A LEMUR

Before going, we entered Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Lost World, a five-hectare enclosure that houses lemurs, cotton-top tamarins, tree kangaroos, capybaras, a host of colorful free-flying birds, reptiles and red pandas. The last time I saw a red panda was at Singapore’s River Safari, and they’re really adorable.

Currumbin Wildife Sanctuary Lost Valley Australia
ELEVATED WALKWAYS ALONG THE LOST WORLD

An elevated walkway, similar to those we treaded on at the valley floor of Scenic World Blue Mountains, wounds around the area, making it quite easy for visitors to peek through the animal enclosures. I like that some of the animals weren’t caged at all and can comfortably roam around the area.

 

CURRUMBIN BEACH

Currumbin Beach Australia
THE ELEPHANT ROCK AT CURRUMBIN BEACH

Having had our kangaroo and koala fix, G drove us to Currumbin Beach for a late lunch. We parked near the Elephant Rock, a boulder-sized outcrop the size of more than a hundred elephants, where the Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club or simply Currumbin Surf Club sits comfortably on.

Currumbin Beach Australia
GOLD COAST’S SKYLINE ON THE HORIZON

This is a member-only restaurant but guests can apparently dine here too, provided there are free seats available. We’re lucky there were a few open tables when we visited, and they’re even premium ones at the open balcony overlooking the Coral Sea too!

Currumbin Beach Surfing Australia
AFTERNOON SURFERS

Against the backdrop of Gold Coast’s skyline on the far horizon, a small number of surfers were out on the water, trying to get the most out of the afternoon swells, while a few people were taking a relaxing walk along Currumbin Beach. Us we busied ourselves taking photos along the rocky part of the beach just in front of the restaurant.

Currumbin Beach Vikings Club Seafood Australia
A SEAFOOD FEAST AT CURRUMBIN VIKINGS CLUB

Soon enough, our lunch was served and we were pigging out on a feast of, not one but two, Seafood Platters (AUD75.00) filled with fresh shrimps, natural oysters, balmain bugs, smoked salmon, garlic green lip mussels, chili salt and pepper calamari, and maine lobsters! As if these aren’t enough, we paired with a plate of crispy potato wedges. Quite a way to start off our Gold Coast adventure!

 

SCOOT HAS DAILY PROMO FARES FROM MANILA TO AUSTRALIA

SCOOT, KLOOK, AND ONE VINE MIGRATION MADE OUR TRIP TO AUSTRALIA POSSIBLE. VIEWS AND OPINION ALL MINE.

 

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, April 21, 2018

DIY Walking Tour Sydney

Our strides went longer and our pace quickened as dusk descended. We just came from the iconic Sydney Opera House, departing as the sun went below the Harbour Bridge. Our next query was food. We were on a strict budget, getting our meals mostly on supermarkets, Australia is extremely expensive, so we thought we’d just grab a bite on a small restaurant. Our friend M, who has just arrived that afternoon from Manila has other plans though, he’d like to eat on the revolving restaurant on top of the Sydney Tower. He’s treating, so alright, to the Sydney Tower it is!

DIY Walking Tour Sydney
SYDNEY’S SKYLINE AS SEEN FROM SYDNEY HARBOUR

We thought we’d save a bit by walking. We went through Pitt Street, one of the major roads running across Sydney, and in the process got to see a cross-section of the city. To be honest, we haven’t seen much of Sydney yet—we visited some of C’s relatives on our first day, and on the second, went out to the Blue Mountains.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, April 19, 2018

It was way past our bedtime, but since our blogger friend, J of Lakwatserong Tsinelas, has just arrived in Sydney to join us for a few days, we thought of having a few pints of beer on the many happening bars around the city before calling it a night. We literally walked high and low along the city’s hilly roads, only to be turned away every single time because we were wearing slippers. Apparently, most bars, if not all, in Sydney doesn’t allow such in their establishments—you can walk in shirtless and get in, as long as you’re wearing shoes. We walked back to our hotel, dry and mildly bemused.

After spending two nights on the most affordable lodging we could find in town, Sydney Central Inn, we transferred to a more upscale hotel at Sydney’s CBD as a wedding gift. Rydges World Square fitted our bill, not too expensive by Australian standards, and still within the heart of the city. The best part was, it’s literally two minutes by foot from our first lodging.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sydney Opera House Australia

Alone, I ascended the steps leading up to Australia’s iconic Sydney Opera House. My companions were nowhere to be found, probably still busy taking selfies along its grounds. They seemed unfazed and underwhelmed by the opera’s beauty and wasn’t that keen on seeing it up close. But I was determined not only to see this architectural masterpiece up close, but also feel it against my bare hands.

Sydney Opera House Original Drawing
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE’S CONCEPTUAL DRAWING

I graduated with an Architecture degree at the University of Santo Tomas, and the Sydney Opera House has been one of the most frequent examples we were ingrained with as to how designs shouldn’t just be about boxes. Breaking out of the box was the most important thing we were taught on our design subjects.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sydney Harbour Cruise

We stood at the top deck as the Sydney Opera House greeted us in all its grandness. We just left Sydney’s port on a cruise ship and somehow, it looked smaller than what I had imagined it to be. Still, that didn’t diminish its beauty at all. It was but a brief encounter with the famed Australian icon, growing smaller and smaller as we moved across the waters of Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Harbour Cruise Skyline
SYDNEY’S SKYLINE FROM THE HARBOUR WATERS

It was already our third day in Sydney and we haven’t explored its nooks and crannies yet. Upon arrival, we visited some of C’s relatives on the suburbs, and our second day we went on a trip to the Blue Mountains and Scenic World Katoomba. Before digging in further to what Sydney is all about, we thought of trying one of the cruises being offered along the Sydney Harbour.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, April 13, 2018

SEA 2 Africa 2018

Summer’s here again! For most, it’s that time of the year when we don our swimwear and head over to the beach. For us though, this means another two months of traveling non-stop wherever our feet—or more precisely, the seat sales—lead us. This time, we’re doing things a bit differently. Instead of airline promos dictating where we’re going, we’ll actually decide our destination.

 

To more memories together! #LakadPilipinas #Blissfulguro #BlissfulLakad

A post shared by Christian L. Sangoyo (@lakadpilipinas) on

 

For quite a while now, C of Blissfulguro, my forever travel partner, has been eyeing Morocco. She so desperately wanted to go there for some reason unfathomable to me. Morocco’s fine with me, this northern African country do looks interesting and Filipinos don’t even need visas to go there.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Scenic World Blue Mountains Katoomba

Slowly, the cable car descended from the escarpment and onto the lush valley below. Facing the red sandstone rock wall, the view opened up, revealing its massive face, eroded by time. The jagged pillars protruding like fingers from the east side of the wall came into view, what locals call the Three Sisters, and a few moments later, the canopy of the massive trees enveloped us. Ladies and gentlemen, we just descended to the Jurassic rainforest of the Blue Mountains.

Scenic World Blue Mountains Katoomba
SCENIC WORLD AT THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

What we really came to the Blue Mountains for was Scenic World. It’s a family-owned business that run various rides—no, not theme park rides—at the Blue Mountains. We saw it thru one of the many tours that Klook offers in and around Sydney. It’s located on a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is only an hour and a half by train from Sydney, so we thought, why not?

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Monday, April 9, 2018

Three Sisters Blue Mountains Australia

Surrounded in bluish haze, we stood transfixed in front of three enormous jagged sandstone rocks rising proudly from a forested valley, almost a thousand meters below. The Three Sisters—legend has it that these were three girls from the Katoomba Tribe who fell in love with three men from its neighboring Nepean Tribe. Forbidden by law from marrying, the men took the sisters, promptly starting a war. An elder shaman then turned the sisters into stones, trying to protect them, but unfortunately, got killed during the war. No one else since was able to turn them back.

Three Sisters Blue Mountains Australia
THE THREE SISTERS AT THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

But it was all a hoax. The legend isn’t a legit aboriginal story but was something purportedly made up by a local to stir more interest to the landmark. But the Three Sisters need no legend, it’s a legend in itself.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, April 7, 2018