A Weekend in Sydney

 

Karen at A+S Wedding

My husband and I flew over to Sydney for a quick, weekend trip to attend a wedding.

We were only there for 2.5 days. But we flew without kids and oh boy, it was soooo relaxing and fun!

This is me wearing my Self Portrait 3D Azaelea Dress. I love that I can fold it up, shove it into my suitcase… and then throw it on and go! No ironing required!

Also wearing Schutz Cadey Lee Heels. And gold tassel earrings by Mezi.

(I swear I’ve worn this ‘heels and earrings’ combination for the last 3 years, with every dress I’ve owned haha!)

Sydney 2018

The first morning, my husband and I woke up early at 6am to go for a walk, in search for a coffee by the river.

We stayed in the Kirribilli area (a very old and posh suburb, where the Prime Minister lives) and the houses and gardens were just beautiful, amazing and full of character.

I guess, if you’re rich, you can afford a gardener and you can water your garden to perfection haha.

Sydney 2018

We found a cafe by the river called, The Flying Bear.

The view was stunning. The coffee was just ok.

 

Sydney 2018

We walked down a street and I noticed that it was really pretty – lined either side with blooming jacaranda trees.

I took a few quick snaps… then I noticed lots and lots of other people taking photos.

Girls in ball gowns. Asian tourists. Photographers with very big cameras. Matching couples. Backpackers. Families. It was like a street festival.

Later on, I found out that we had stumbled across one of those “Instagrammable Hotspots” and the street was a bit famous.

Search up “McDougall St, NSW” or “Kirribilli, NSW” to find it.

Sydney 2018

The next day, after the wedding, we woke up at 9:30am (yes, 9:30am).

It was the best sleep-in ever. I felt rested, fresh and like a completely new human being haha. I don’t think I’ve felt like that in 15 years!

We stumbled over to join the rest of the family and wedding party (who were staying at an AirBnb, which belonged to celebrity chef, Rick Stein!) for a long, relaxing, chatty, 6-hour brunch.

In the late afternoon, my husband and I spontaneously decided to head out into the city – because you know, we were travelling without kids and we could do whatever the heck we wanted haha!

So we caught the ferry into Circular Key, caught a glimpse of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, and walked around for a few hours.

We went back to the Airbnb for dinner with the family again, left early for an early night, and caught a cab to the airport at 6am.

It was a quick and simple trip, but yep, I didn’t have to do any cooking or anything important, so it was my idea of a relaxing holiday!

Sneak Peek: Uluru Base Walk

Uluru Base Walk 2017

I’m still trying to edit all my photos from our family trip to Uluru.

I thought I’d share this beautiful photo I took during our walk along the base of Uluru.

Although most of the walk was around the outside of the rock, there were some parts where the path allowed visitors to come up close and “inside” it.

It was absolutely magical!

28 Day Central Australia Road Trip, Part 1 Perth, Kalgoorlie, Menzies, Lake Ballard, Leonora, Laverton, Warburton, Warakurna

Uluru Road Trip 2017

Hi everyone!

My husband and I took thousands of photos during our trip around Central Australia and it was quite a feat to go through them all. So I’m just sharing the highlights with you all!

We went with two friends and their two kids (twins aged 6), while our kids were ages 14, 12 and 8.

Our friends are planning a yearlong trip around Australia, so this was a “trial” trip for them – we were just tagging along! Sort of! They were the ones who spent an incredible amount of time doing all the reading, research and planning for places to go, places to camp, routes to take, things to see, maps to print out, equipment to take, etc etc.

We travelled in two 4WD Toyota Prados, one towing a camper trailer (theirs) and one with a regular trailer (ours).

Uluru Road Trip 2017

Day 1 – We left Perth drove and about 6 hours to Coolgardie (just East of Kalgoorlie).

Since we had kids, we had lots of toilet stops and a long lunch stop to stretch our legs, so we were on the road for about 8 hours.

Uluru Road Trip 2017

We used an app called, WikiCamps to find ourselves a roadside, campsite in the bush.

It wasn’t an official campsite and it had no water, electricity, toilets, showers or anything. It was just a nice patch of dirt amongst some bushes. We made sure we left the place as it was and took all our rubbish away.

It was kind of fun, we felt like we had the whole outback to ourselves.

Uluru Road Trip 2017

Day 2 – We drove into Kalgoorlie and stopped to see the Super Pit, Australia’s second largest open cut gold mine. It’s about 3.5km long, 1.5km wide and about 600m deep.

It was humongous and rather horrifying to think about it’s ecological impact.

Uluru Road Trip 2017

We hung out at Hammond Park in Kalgoorlie.

It was a fantastic playground for kids – lots of green grass, picnic areas, shade, climbing things, sculptures, a pond, a kiosk and an aviary.

Uluru Road Trip 2017

There was a large emu enclosure with some beautiful emus and peacocks.

And there were some cages with talking cockatoos – my kids had never heard a bird say “Hello” and it kind of BLEW. THEIR. MINDS.

Uluru Road Trip 2017

We drove north for 1.5 hours to a town called, Menzies.

Then headed west to Lake Ballard, a salt lake made famous by a permanent art exhibition called “Inside Australia” created by artist Antony Gormley.

It features 51 metal sculptures based on laser body-scans of local residents from Menzies and a few “out of towners”.

Uluru Road Trip 2017

The sculptures were ghostly and creepy but beautiful and serene at the same time.

Set in the vast landscape, surrounded by salt, visitor’s footsteps, mud, rocks… it was quite an extraordinary sight.

Uluru Road Trip 2017

The sculptures were spread out over 10kms, so it was quite a walk. I only saw about 5 of them.

We anticipated that the ground was going to be muddy and sticky, so we taped plastic bags over our boots. Or course, the kids climbed the rocky hill, which ripped up their plastic bags, and they ended up with muddy boots anyway.

Uluru Road Trip 2017

This was our set up! Since we were covering so much distance and stopping at so many places just for one night, we decided to buy two pop up tents. They were awesome, because they literally took 10 seconds to set up and 2 minutes to pack away.

They aren’t so good with rain, wind or storms though, hence we brought a gazebo for extra shelter (you can see the gazebo frame set up in the photo, because the weather was a bit iffy).

We camped at the edge of the salt lake, at a designated campsite.

We had a spectacular view of the sunset!

Uluru Road Trip 2017

This is my 8yo, who, after cleaning his boots and changing into his clean clothes, decided to take a photo of the sunset without stepping away from his tent, to keep his socks clean.

Uluru Road Trip 2017

The sunset was amazing!

The hills, the lake, the sand all around us changed colours, in a magical, delicate, subtle way; with hints of gold, pinks, oranges and pale greyish purples – oh the colours – it was hard to believe it without seeing it with your own eyes!

Uluru Road Trip 2017

Day 3 – We drove north to Leonara, then over to Laverton where we began “The Outback Way” route, which is the main road through Central Australia.

It was also the moment the sealed bitumen stopped and the famous red dirt road began.

I had always thought that central Australia was barren like a desert. Turns out that it’s quite green and full of trees and shrubs. I guess it would look very different in Summer (it is Winter in Australia now) and I can only imagine how beautiful it would look in Spring.

We had such good luck with the weather and lack of rain, therefore the roads were in excellent condition.

We spent 7 hours on the road (including a few stops) and covered about 500km. We camped at another bush campsite off the main road.

Uluru Road Trip 2017

Day 4 – We woke up at 6am for another long day on the road. We stopped at the Tjukayirla Roadhouse and thanks to the internet, we were keen to try their “famous” Tjukayirla Burgers. They were $18 each! I was very skeptical, but to our delight, the burgers were delicious.

We fuelled up at Warburton. And arrived late into the Warakurna Roadhouse, where we camped for the night in a Unpowered Caravan/Campsite.

We drove for about 500kms and again it took about 7 hours, including lots of stops.

Oh and it was my first shower in 4 days.

* I could have had a shower at any roadhouse along the way, but it didn’t quite fit into our driving schedule, so I survived on baby wipes.

And on that note, I’ll end this blog post – ha!

My next blog post is about arriving in Uluru / Kata Tjuta National Park.

Off on a New Adventure: Uluru

Uluru by Award Winning Landscape Photographer, Luke Tscharke

(Amazing photo of Uluru by Award Winning Landscape Photographer, Luke Tscharke.)

Hi everyone!

My family and I are off on a new adventure to Central Australia, to visit Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Alice Springs, Kings Canyon and more.

It’ll be mind-blowing!!

And it’ll be a bit cold.

We’ll be gone for 4 weeks and we’ll have very limited internet, so I’ll be trying to upload updates whenever I can on Instagram (@karenlycheng) and Facebook (@karenchengblog).

In the meantime, I have a few lovely posts, stories and outfits to share, that are set on auto-upload every couple of days and they will appear on my blog over the next few weeks.

Thanks for reading!

Tasmania Trip 2015 : Travel Itinerary

Sat, 21 Nov

Arrive Hobart, 8:40pm
Stay in Travelodge Hotel, Hobart – 1 Night

Sun, 22 Nov

Pick Up Car Hire, 9am
Drive to Derwent Bridge – 2.5 hours
Accommodation Derwent Bridge Chalet & Studio
Take a walk at Lake St Clair

Mon, 23 Nov

Drive to Nelson Falls
Take a walk at Nelson Falls (20 minute walk, return)
Drive to Strahan – 1.5 hours
Walk to see Hogarth Falls in the town of Strahan (45 minutes walk, return)
Check into Aloft Boutique accommodation Strahan

Tues, 24 Nov

Go on the Gordon River Cruise, 5.5 hours
Drive from Strahan to Cradle Mountain – 2.5 hours
Check into Accommodation Cradle Mountain Hotel

Wed, 25 Nov

Do a walk at Cradle Mountain, Dove Lake Curcuit
Accommodation Cradle Mountain Hotel
3718 Cradle Mountain Road

Thurs, 26 Nov

We planned to do the Montezuma Falls Walk (One of the highest waterfalls in Tasmania) — 3 hours return

We planned to stay in Cradle Mountain for 3 days.

***But it snowed, which made a few walks at Cradle Mountain too dangerous, so we left and went to look at caves and stayed in Launceston instead.

Fri, 27 Nov

Drive from Launceston to Hobart
Stop for lunch at Swansea at Great Oyster Bay
Check into accommodation Hobart

Sat, 28 Nov

Visit the Salamanca Markets
Visit MONA

Depart Hobart 4:15pm