where in the world… (part 8)?

are viv + i?
g’day mate…” from the “land down under“: australia!!!
 

what an amazing experience to have a christmas day breakfast in auckland, new zealand and then fly over and have a christmas dinner (at din fai tung) in sydney, australia! though flying on the 25th  felt like we only had half a christmas this year.
and our plan to catch a christmas service at hillsongs unfortunately didn’t work out, since by the time we touch downed it was already early evening.

30ft down under in the "land down under" - the great barrier reef...

anyway, we had a great hotel right in downtown and were able to enjoy all of the incredible sights + sounds of this great city! so bizarre to be halfway around the world spending christmas… and yet such a blessing to have this opportunity! and walking a few blocks, we were smack dab in the heart of chinatown. and seriously… there were SOOOO many asians that several times, i forgot that we were in australia and felt like we were back in hong kong or japan… or beijing even! and then to be at a korean restaurant and to hear the host speaking with an australian accent?!?!  weird… but also cool!
and an unfortunate thing, but for the few days we were there in sydney, it was forecasted to have some of the heaviest rainfall that they had seen in the last several years! but it wasn’t too bad. after all, we were still able to walk around in t-shirt, shorts and flip flops during the last week of december.
rising up on the 26th and deciding to check out the city, we were surprised by the number of people rambling through the streets. we forgot that australia celebrated boxing day and that proved to be an interesting experience in trying to see sydney and foolishly thinking we could get in a little shopping…
here are some photos of the day: 

in front of the sydney opera house...

the harbour bridge...

about to brave the shopping madness on "boxing day"...

what we had to endure at EVERY store... and the sale prices weren't even that good!!! >:T

vivien's reaction towards all of the ridiculous lines outside the stores...

vivien finding out she could have anything she wanted... with my credit card.🙂

 after 4 days in sydney, we flew through brisbane and eventually to townsville (a part of north queensland) because it is one of the few cities you can catch a boat ride out to yet another one of unesco’s world heritage sites: the great barrier reef! this was definitely one of our “must-dos” while in australia.
compared to sydney, townsville was such a laid back coastal-town feel. we were able to escape the torrential rain by coming up north.
and a BIG thanks to the folks over at adrenalin dive who were booked solid for the great barrier reef excursion but were kind enough to open 2 spots for vivien + i to see this amazing wonder! i think we might consider getting PADI certified…
if you’re ever in townsville and up for an experience of a lifetime, call them up… you won’t regret it!
here are some miscellaneous pictures from townsville + magnetic island:

yawn... just another gorgeous waterfall in north queensland!😉

no swimming allowed! unless you wore a stinger suit or a nylon bodysuit!

hello magnetic island!

at the great barrier reef hq aquarium...

at the shark exhibit...

don't let viv's kind face fool ya... she's sneaky as a snake i tell ya!😉

eat you later, alligator...

our newest family member... "koala" song.

the last image before our disposable underwater camera broke b/c we went too deep underwater.😦

a cool night-time shot of us leaving townsville, australia...

back to sydney
taipei
back to hong kong…

so long mate! (for now…)

for more reading: