Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A little part of New South Wales

After the beauty of New Zealand, now it's time to visit one of the hectic city in Australia, that is Sydney. We took 1325 flight from Christchurch and arrived at Sydney around 1450, there's 1hr time difference between Christchurch and Sydney. We had 5-6days in Sydney and my boss told me that those days will be filled with INSPECTIONS (uh man!), so sad to say that it wasn't a holiday :(

Sydney airport has a quite strict regulation, and it took quite a long time at the immigration. Finished with the luggage and passport/visa checking, then we ok to go! 2 of our colleagues welcomed us at the front, and took us to tour around the airport (they said, it's an Airport inspection) before drove us to hotel. Once we got to hotel there was a slight problem occurred, they can't find our booking! But after 1hr we finally get our room *thank God. It was already 1700 o'clock, and since we have several restaurant inspection to do, so we didn't got the chance to have some rest in the room. We spent about 2 hours for inspection on foot before we hit an Indonesian restaurant called "Delima" for dinner, yeeeaay! Enough with the yummy foods, we go back to hotel to get some rest before tomorrow's tight schedule to Hunter Valley.
Performance at Capitol Theatre

D02 in Australia!

Lavender in Falls
We start this day early, around 0630 we had breakfast then put our luggage at the concierge because we were planning on stay at Hunter Valley that night. At 0730 we depart from hotel and start the Familiarization trip (more like an inspection trip). There were total of 12 pax join this trip, all of them are GT* staffs. Our first stop is Glenworth Valley, continued to Cedar Park Lavender and Macadamia Nuts Farm then stop at Hunter Resort at Hunter Valley for lunch and beer/wine tasting tour. Since Hunter Valley is a vineyard area, so most of our inspection are to vineyard for wine tour and tasting. Aside the Hunter Resort, we still have do to inspection to 2 other vineyard, they are Mt. Pleasant Winery and Wyndham Estate, and last but not least a sneak a peek at Hunter Valley Cheese Company which located beside the Wyndham Estate. Enough with inspection, we still got time for some shopping in Pokolbin Village. Tired? Absolutely! It's time for take a rest at one of the best hotel in Hunter Valley, Crowne Plaza. We were divided into 3 group, and each group stays at a cottage with 3bedrooms. And as for dinner, the man will cook for us :)

Rainbow welcomed us in Hunter Valley
The Famous Blue tongue beer
Lunch and winetasting at Hunter Resort

D03 in Australia!
Moon Shadow Cruise
Heading back to Sydney! Yet, on the way we still had to do some inspections, but i must say that the inspections were awesome! First we have to do hotel inspection at Oaks Pacific Blue Resort, an awesome hotel with huge swimming pool. Then we off to Port Stephen for Moon Shadow Dolphin watch cruise and lunch on board. The adventure still continue, we got the chance to experience 4WD and San boarding (aren't they cool?), exhausted yet? nah, there still a long journey ahead. Next stop is The Australia Shark & Ray center (yes, we feed the sharks and rays), then another brewery/winery tour at Murray's Brewery and Port Stephens Winery. Enough with the alcohol thingy, it's time to eat, and this time we had buffet at Star Buffet at the Gosford for dinner, huurraay! After dinner we still have more than 1hr drive to Sydney and most of us spent it with sleep (especially me.. haha). There was one interesting thing when i got back to hotel. It turns out there's a thing that they called Day Light Saving Time, a transition between Summer to Falls, so we have 1 hour longer than it used to be (for further explanation please click the link).
Yep, we saw dolphin :)
Sand Boarding!

D04 in Australia!
Today we had 3hours meeting at Sydney office, then heading to Fish Market to grab some "fishy" lunch. I totally in love with this place! It's a bit look like Jakarta's Muara Angke, but with more various seafood, and of course, cleaner. Fed up with seafood, it's time to get back to work. This time we have to do inspection to one of free tax department store, called DFS Galleria at The Rock. Since we still have spare time until dinner, my boss allowed me to wander around and me her at the DFS lobby, so i decided to wander around at The Rock. There are so many cafe around the The Rock, and within 5 minutes walk i can see the famous Sydney Opera House, wow! Enough taking pictures at the Harbour, it's time to go back to DFS and heading to Zilver Restaurant for dinner. The dinner itself is not special but on the way back to hotel, one of our colleague took us to China town for shopping. Oh my, it was heaven! I bought some souvenirs for my friends and family.
Fishy lunch at Fish Market

Sydney Opera House

Harbour Bridge

Sydney Opera House, view from The Rock
Sydney's Hop On Hop Off bus

D05 in Australia!
Last day before going home to Jakarta. We didn't really got a fix schedule for this day. So we spend it for shopping at Paddy's Market and wander around Sydney (Opera House, Harbour bridge, Darling Harbour, etc). It was a fun day, because we don't have to follow any schedule. Oh ya, i took a city train (double decker, yep, a double decker train) from darling harbour to central station (nearby our hotel). Me and one of my colleague ate Sop Buntut and Nasi goreng for dinner and the portion was awesomely huge! We didn't finished it :p

D06 in Australia!
Jakarta here we come. No more money left in the pocket, so i spent most of the time before depart to airport at hotel. I took taxi to airport and it only took about 40minutes from hotel. I went back to Jakarta took 1350 flight and arrived safely at 1820 (Jakarta Time). So this was the end of my trip to Oceania (New Zealand and Australia). So long, auf wiedersehen! I shall be back :)