Three Sisters – Blue Mountains

The Three Sisters is a rock formation of three sandstone peaks in the Blue Mountains National Park.

038

Three Sisters

The three rock formations, which are located at Echo Point, Katoomba, are over 900 metres high. The highest is 922 metres, the other two are 918 and 906 metres.

The rocks were formed and shaped by wind and rain eroding the soft sandstone rock.

037

Three Sisters

There is a Aboriginal legend attached to the rock formation. Legend has it that there were three beautiful sisters Gunnedoo, Meehni and Wimlah. The sisters had fallen in love with three brothers from another tribe. Tribal law forbid them to marry, so the brothers planned to capture the sisters and make them their brides. This caused a major battle between the tribes. To protect them a tribal elder turned the sisters to stone. His plan was to turn them back to life after the battle but he was killed and no one had the power to turn them back so they remained as stone.

This story has been disputed by Dr. Martin Thomas in his book The Artificial Horizon: Imagining the Blue Mountains (2003), who states that the legend was created by a non-aboriginal local to drum up interest in the rock formation.

Either way it is still an interesting story.

Princes Rock Track – Blue Mountains National Park

The Princes Rock track in the Blue Mountains National Park offers stunning views over Wentworth Falls.

012

Wentworth Falls

This historic track was built in 1868 for a visit by Queen Victoria’s son Prince Alfred – hence the name. It has been used by sightseers ever since.

008

009

Princes Rock Track

The track is well maintained and is less than a kilometre long, so it is popular walk for visitors that have limited time or are not willing to commit to longer walks.

It is a 20 minute return walk to Princes Rock Lookout, which offers views of Wentworth Falls.

The track begins at the Wentworth Falls Picnic Area, at the end of Falls Road.

013

015

Princes Rock Lookout

The Hunger Games: The Exhibition

The Hunger Games: The Exhibition is currently on at ICC Sydney until February 5th.

After successful seasons in New York City and San Francisco an exhibition based on The Hunger Games film series is now in Australia and on at the International Convention Centre Sydney in Darling Harbour.

After stepping into the exhibit area visitors are welcomed with a video message by Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket) in character and then as herself as she introduces the exhibition.

03

Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) costume – The Hunger Games. Designer: Judianna Makovsky

After the video welcome the doors open and visitors can move at their own pace through 7 themed areas, including District 12, Tribute Train, The Capitol, Making the Games, District 13, Katniss’s Journey, and Fan Gallery.

There are over a 1000 props and costumes from the four films (The Hunger Games [2012], The Hunger Games: Catching Fire [2013], The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 [2014], The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2 [2015]).

Highlights include ‘The Girl on Fire’ dress, the Mockingjay dress, the Mockingjay armour, Katniss’ wedding dress and her hunting bow.

10

Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) costume – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Designer: Trish Summerville and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) costume – The Hunger Games. Designer: Judianna Makovsky

16

Mockingjay Dress – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Designer: Trish Summerville and Mockingjay Armor – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Designer: Kurt and Bart

15

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) hunting costume – The Hunger Games. Deisgner: Judianna Makovsky and Katniss’ Wedding Dress – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Designer: Trish Summerville

01

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) & Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) costumes – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Designer: Trish Summerville

There are also several hands-on interactive activities including an interactive map of Panem and a stunt choreography challenge.

At the end there is an extensive gift shop with a variety of Hunger Games souvenirs. I purchased the Mockingjay fridge magnet.

Tickets are available online from Ticketek or at the venue.

May the odds be ever in your favour!

 

Sydney Tower Buffet

Sydney Tower Buffet is a revolving self-serve buffet restaurant offering stunning views of Sydney’s cityscape.

06

Champagne cocktail at Sydney Tower Buffet

Two friends and I went for lunch on the 31st December to end the year. Lunch is from 11:30 am to 2pm and dinner is from 5pm to 9pm.

Each dining session is 1.5 hours. Not to worry it only takes 70 minutes for the restaurant to complete one rotation, so diners can enjoy 360 views of Sydney’s cityscape.

On a clear day you can even see as far as the Blue Mountains.

1

2

3.jpg

The restaurant serves more than 50 international dishes, that includes modern Australian, Chinese, Italian, Japanese and Thai.

A highlight are the speciality native Australian meats. At our seating there was emu and crocodile chipolatas and kangaroo rump.

There are also extensive salad, seafood and dessert bars.

041

Crocodile and Emu chipolatas

Entry to the restaurant is via the reception and lift access on level 4 of the Westfield Sydney shopping centre.

The Sydney Tower Buffet is located on the tower’s second level. The Sydney Tower stands at 309 metres (1,014 ft) and is the second tallest tower in the southern hemisphere.

Although Auckland’s SKY Tower is taller, Sydney’s main observation deck, Sydney Tower Eye, on level 4, is 50 metres higher than the SKY Tower’s. Note: Sydney Tower Buffet is not affiliated with Sydney Eye Tower. This is a separate attraction. Both businesses offer stunning views.

There is also an à la carte revolving restaurant 360 Bar and Dining located on level 1 of the tower and on level 3 is STUDIO, an event space.

Sydney NYE 2016

I am not normally one to make a big deal about celebrating New Years but this year I was in Sydney, Australia, so I took in the fireworks on the Sydney Harbour.

15826244_10153977508925810_4367603050565308434_n

Sydney sees the New Year in 2 hours behind my home country of New Zealand.

For 2016 NYE two friends and I went on Beyond the Wharf’s New Year Eve Cruise aboard the Sydney Ferries’ historic Lady Northcott.

Lady Northcott, is the oldest Lady ferry still in service. It was launched in 1975 and is predominantly used on the Mosman and Taronga Zoo services.

The large green and yellow ferry weighs 366 tons and can travel at a speed of 13 knots.

We checked in outside the AMP Building on Alfred Street and were given yellow wristbands – a great memento for the night.

15825820_10153977509235810_7758184716801537225_n

Wristbands

After boarding the ferry the boat cruised around the harbour, participating in the Harbour of Lights Parade and offering views for the 9pm family fireworks and midnight fireworks.

The Harbour of Lights Parade began at 9.15pm and selected vessels that were illuminated by rope lighting travelled around the harbour, from Goat Island to Cockatoo Island and back.

15823632_10153977509600810_6768302711144530744_n

Cruising past the Sydney Opera House – check out the crowds!

15822600_10153977509765810_196799803858664811_n

Cruising Sydney Harbour

15726364_10153977510605810_8227079065385075490_n

Harbour of Lights Parade

15726976_10153977511025810_6782281173893855903_n

Harbour of Lights Parade

A cruise on the Harbour gives you amazing views as the fireworks illuminate the night sky around the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The two firework displays featured an estimated 7 tonnes of fireworks, which included 12,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and 100, 000 individual pyrotechnic effects.

15747598_10153977514590810_1048397598405089731_n

Midnight fireworks – Sydney Harbour

15823452_10153977514105810_3750031449631148382_n

Midnight fireworks – Sydney Harbour Bridge

15781233_10153977514390810_3127529402420482229_n

Midnight fireworks – Sydney Opera House

This cruise option was more family friendly, as there was no alcohol or smoking onboard. It was also an opportunity to save a little bit more money and have flexibility as it was BYO picnic.

We brought early bird tickets for $350. Normally $399.

If you get the opportunity it is worth spending New Years in Sydney at least once in your lifetime. Put it on your bucket list!

Happy New Year and all the best for 2017. Make it your year!