In Australia been on board M/V Golden Princess in the season of 2015-2016. Joined ship in Sydney.
Flew here in October 2015. Had the longest ever continuous flight for me here from Dubai - 14 hours. Then had whole day to explore Sydney. Had a nice room in the Mercury Hotel.
So, after arriving early in the morning and checking in the hotel I got a train to the center of the city.
First thing I visited was Sydney Tower, which is 304 meters tall with observation deck on 250 meters. Got there and really enjoyed fantastic 360 degrees view over the city.
After that visited Museum of Contemporary Art of Australia right near the cruise terminal.
Checked the exhibitions and then watched movie about some Jewish artist made by his son in USA and later after finishing author was answering questions of the visitors.
It was quite interesting. After that walked thru the old part of the city - Rocks on my way to Harbor Bridge, which I crossed by foot on the other side and back.
Bridge is impressive structure and one of the landmarks of the Sydney. After that visited probably the main attractions of the city - Opera House. The weather turned cloudy and started little drizzle, so didn't spend much time near.
After that walked around the park and the city center on my way back to the hotel. Next morning joined the ship. Then after 10 days arrived again to Sydney, the weather was nice and sunny, so could take a walk around the Opera House and really enjoyed it.
After that we did re-positioning to Melbourne and arrived there after 1 sea day. So had a walk around the city center. It has a nice center and it is the biggest city in Australia. There are free trams in the center as well. Didn't have much time to explore, but had an idea of the city.
Another time walked a bit along the promenade, seen many people sunbathing and taking a dip, but didn't try to swim.
Then on 03.01.2016 we started cruise ''Tasmania and South Australia'' which took 7 days with total distance traveled from Melbourne to Melbourne - 3,202 km. Places visited were Wineglass and Oyster Bays(Tasmania) scenic cruise only, then Port Arthur, then overnight in Hobart, capital of Tasmania and after 1 sea day Adelaide, capital of South Australia province.
In our first call at Wineglass Bay I went on open deck to have a look. Seen the Bay and rugged east coast of Tasmania.
The next day in Port Arthur I had a nice walk around this historic site. Met Doctor Lisa Nelson from USA who working on our ship as acupuncturist and had great time together. The weather was changing many times from sunny to rainy. We had a tender here and were getting ashore by boats.
Port Arthur used to be penal colony. It contains of more than 30 historic buildings, extensive ruins and beautiful grounds and gardens. It was established in 1830 as a timber-getting camp, using convict labor to produce sawn logs for government projects. From 1833 Port Arthur was used as a punishment station for repeat offenders from all the Australian colonies.
Port Arthur's community of military and free men and their families lived their lives in stark contrast to the convict population. By 1840 more than 2000 convicts, soldiers and civil staff lived at Port Arthur. The penal settlement finally closed in 1877 and many of its buildings were dismantled or destroyed in bush fires.
After walking around Historic Site we went to the local village which looks nice and cozy.
Next day in Hobart I went on a tour to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Barilla Bay Oyster Farm and Richmond Village.
Hobart is the capital of Tasmania and the biggest city. First we visited Bonorog Wildlife Sanctuary where we seen different animals, like wombat, Tasmanian Devil, koala, parrot and kangaroo.
We had guide talking and showing each of the animals. Took many pictures of them and even selfies with koala and kangaroo. Saw all of them for the first time. It was impressing for me.
After that we went thru the countryside for about 45 minutes to the Barilla Bay Oyster Farm, where we been told and shown about history and work of this farm.
Then we had delicious lunch with oysters and other tasty food. After that we stopped in small charming village of Richmond.
It looks like it was in 1820's and it remains one of the finest examples of Tasmania's stark convict heritage and beautiful historic buildings.
There is old Richmond Bridge from 1823, which looks similar to the one in England. It is nice place to stroll around.
Then after one sea day we arrived in Adelaide, capital of South Australia province and Australia's fifth largest city. Met Oleksiy Biryukov, dancer from our ship on a gangway and together took a train to the center from the port which is about 45 minutes away.
Then had a walk around the center of the city, which looks nice with some river crossing it and many modern ad old buildings.
Then took another selfie with big pelican who was sitting on the grass near the river. It was nice day, the weather was great.
Then in February 2016 we did one more cruise to Tasmania and South Australia with visiting Wineglass Bay(scenic cruising), Port Arthur, Hobart(overnight) and Philip Island(Victoria). In port Arthur I took a tour ''Geology and history of Tasman Peninsula''. We did narrated drive along eastern coast of Tasman Peninsula.
We visited Tessellated Pavement, a rare, naturally occurring flat expanse of rock that eroded into ''tiles''. It is located on Pirates Bay beach.
Then we visited The Blowhole. After that we stopped at Tasmanian Arch, a dramatic bridged chasm. It was interesting tour.
Then we stopped at Philip Island, which is located not far from Melbourne and connected by bridge with mainland. Island named in honor of Admiral Arthur Philip (1738-1814), who served as first governor of New South Wales. Island is famous for Fairy Penguins, the smallest of 17 species of penguin. They commonly weight all of 2 pounds and stand about 117 inches in their stocking feet. I didn't go on a tour to see them.
Just had a walk around this small island, with population of 7,000 people.
Seen kangaroos in the wild in the bushes near the beach and rabbits as well. Then had a walk along the beach, collected some shells and walked back along the beach.
Seen how seagull caught big fish(snapper probably). It was impressive.
After that on next day in Melbourne was nice sunny, clear weather, so I had walk around the center, went to the iconic Finders Street Station. Had a walk along Yarra River. Got some nice photos.
Then on turn-around day on 24.02.2016 in Melbourne met with my friend from town of Kosiv in Ukraine Lyubomyr Kabyn, who was travelling around Australia at that time. It was nice meeting; we had a walk around, talk.
On the crossing cruise from Sydney to Hong Kong in April 2016 we made stops at Brisbane and Darwin. In Brisbane, which is the capital of Queensland state just walked around the center.
It is modern cosmopolitan city with skyscrapers and many things to do. It has population around 2,2 million people.
It is always sunny here, with 300 sunny days every year. Queensland also known as Sunshine State.
Many attractions situated along Brisbane River. On the Southbank had a swim in the artificial beach next to the river.
It was amazing - beach in the center of the city. Had a good time over there.
Then, after 4 sea days reached Darwin, which is the capital of Northern Territory with population only 146,000 people.
It is located on Timor Sea and is gateway to South East Asia. City named after well-known evolutionist Charles Darwin. Here I took a ''Jumping crocodiles cruise''. It took us more than 1 hour to get to wetland near the mouth of Adelaide River.
Then we boarded riverboat down the river. Saw many crocodiles which were jumping for the meat used as a bait to attract them. It was a lot of fun.
Then after that we made a stop at some museum with views over the wetlands and did scenic drive thru the city of Darwin. Seen many aboriginal people on the streets. City look nice and good looking with many historical building preserved despite it was heavily bombed by Japan in 1942. Area around city is full of farms growing mangoes and other fruits and it is very developed as well with many opportunities.
People in Australia seems so happy and relaxed, country rich and safe, climate is good. Apr 2016