Discovering OZ! – Part 3: Extraordinary things that I did in Australia

1)      Patted, hugged and played with kangaroos and wallabies

Before I flew to Melbourne, I kept telling friends that I wanted to put my hand into the pouch of a kangaroo. When I told my friends in OZ about my plan, they frowned and said, “do you know kangaroos have really strong claws?!” Opps…

I was so glad that I had the chance to see 2 kangaroos boxing each other from the distance while I was in the moving bus. Tour guide stated that they were fighting for dominance.

ballarat wildlife park

At Ballarat Wildlife Park

she's a menaceevidence #1

she’s a menace
evidence #1

she's a menaceevidence #2

she’s a menace
evidence #2

2)      Tried rock climbing for the first time

And I fell in love with it! Louis said I was pretty good as a first-timer! 🙂 I managed to conquer the grade 14, 17 and 18 routes (oz system).

completed route 4 and 5 of this Urinal Wall (what a name!)

At You Yangs Regional Park: completed route 4 and 5 of this Urinal Wall (what a name!)

crawling my way up!

crawling my way up!

This grade 18 route is really exhausting!

This grade 18 route is really exhausting! I had almost nothing to grip/step on

I failed this...

I failed this…

what had I got myself into?

what had I got myself into?

3)      Sea kayaking for the first time at Port Melbourne

Sea kayaking is quite different from kayaking along the river.

It was a sunny morning at first. 8 of us in a group started to feel a bit bored roaming the calm sea then the “fun” set in when there’s abrupt change of bad weather. Almost everyone capsized at the same time but at different locations and we only had 1 coach/trainer with us. Worse still, strong off-shore breeze was pushing us away from the beach. At one point, I was really exhausted paddling but it still took like forever to reach the jetty by kayaking against the strong wind. In the end, we were rescued by sea patrol!

In order to be rescued, I had to jump into the sea. My lips turned blue and I was shivering non-stop before going on shore. What an experience!

The poor trainer

At Port Melbourne: The poor trainer

4)      Watched musical show for the first time

Xanadu was just fun to watch (also less flashy: we were sitting on plastic chairs, simple backdrops and props) but Love Never Dies was really mind-blowing for me! I was fascinated by the elaborate costumes, backdrops, props, stage layout – you name it! Shirely, my sister and I looked so much like bumpkins at the theater for being seriously under-dressed   Well, we were still going through the learning curve! :p

the benchmark for dress code

the benchmark for dress code

under-dressed?

under-dressed?

The Regent Theatre

The Regent Theatre

I had problem understanding the “lyrics” whenever it’s the female or male lead singing: female lead’s voice was too high-pitched while the male lead’s was too bass!

5)      Watched live comedy show for the first time

I saw wire while one of the comedians was performing magic! Haha!

the impetus to watching a comedy show :)

the impetus to watching a comedy show 🙂

6)      Patted and hugged koala bears, dolphins and seal

Koala bears smelt really good actually! Thanks to their favorite meal I think: the eucalyptus leaves.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

At Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Gold Coast, Queensland

Smile one!

At Sea World, Gold Coast, Queensland: Smile one!

sea world

7)      Tried skippy’s meat for the first time

And I did not like… the texture was like beef…

kangaroo souvlaki

kangaroo souvlaki

8)      Went on a hot air balloon flight over Yarra Valley

had to do some works before being up in the air

had to do some works before being up in the air

the man in control!

the man in control!

Yarra Valley's really scenic!

Yarra Valley’s really scenic!

had to do work again post-flight

had to do work again post-flight

Tina compressed the bag; I compressed her! :D

Tina compressed the bag; I compressed her! 😀

9)      I went to Sydney, I saw the Harbour Bridge, I conquered it!

harbour bridge climb

10)   Visited a strip club

:p

Too bad, not allowed to take photos…

11)   Slept in the swag at the outback

This is definitely different from camping! Because when you lie on your back, all you see is not your tent, but a million stars! It was just …. romantic! Also, it’s freezing cold at night in the desert!

Preparing our "beds"

Preparing our “beds”

Hippo and I survived sleeping in a swag under a million stars!

Hippo and I survived sleeping in a swag under a million stars! 

12)   Rode on a camel for the first time

Danish friend, Martin raised a question about if one-humped camel is still a camel because in Danish it is named differently 🙂

one-humped or two?

one-humped or two?

13)   Tried diving a bit at Great Barrier Reef

We got to enjoy the introductory diving session at Great Barrier Reef. It was my first time wearing the wet suit and carrying an oxygen tank. Few meters down into the water, I felt the pressure in my ears was building up and sharp pain crept from inner ear. I couldn’t equalize the pressure no matter how hard I tried and the guide said he had to go on without me! 😥

When Mich’s back from the diving session, I asked, “Does that mean I am flawed and no diving for me forever?” I was relieved when she said the guide was just not patient enough and not providing longer time for me to get used to the pressure. She also took a long time before she could equalize the ear pressure when she first tried diving.

great barrier reef

14)   Graduated with master’s degree!

With sweat and tears! Of all my studying days, I was the most hardworking during the pursuit of my masters!

unimelb graduation

now a Unimelb alumna

15)   Skied for the first time

Snow, I finally got to meet you! 🙂 I scrutinized it, to see if snowflake can be seen with the naked eye! :p

Can see snowflakes or not?

At Mt. Buller: Can see snowflakes or not?

Walking in the rented ski boots was so draining! When I skied, I kept falling down, clearly not talented! I also worried that ligament on my right knee would give way if I did aggressive movement.

Skiing is fun as it is tiring!

Skiing is fun as it is tiring!

sigh... fell down again

sigh… fell down again

At the end of the skiing session, we were so exhausted but we still had to walk a long way in the boots to the assembly point trudging our skies.  Sis and I decided to slide down on our butts downhill. Passers-by all laughed at us.

Part 1 | Part 2 | tips

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